ASL AQFlow Inc.’s Acoustic Scintillation Flow Meter (ASFM) is globally recognized as a solution to the hydroelectric industry’s toughest turbine flow measurement challenge – accurate and repeatable measurements in intakes of low-head power plants with no penstocks. The features of the method that make it a cost-effective solution for low-head plants apply equally to many higher-head plants as well. The ASFM is a real-time, non-intrusive instrument that excels at performing: flow measurement for turbine efficiency optimization, flow measurement before and after rehabilitation and continuous monitoring of flow conditions.
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Monitoring and Testing - Water Monitoring and Testing
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
- Year Founded:
This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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What the ASFM can do for you
ASFM Advantage: One-time measurements of absolute or relative turbine discharge to:
- determine optimum settings for maximizing operating efficiency of individual units and/or entire plants,
- facilitate field performance testing and/or acceptance testing,
- check measurements obtained with other technologies,
- calibrate Winter-Kennedy taps,
- review effects of fish diversion screens on turbine efficiency.
ASFM Monitor: Continuous long-term flow measurement in near-real time to:
- monitor unit/plant performance,
- document compliance with regulatory/environmental requirements,
- monitor trashrack blockage,
- detect penstock rupture.
ASL Environmental Sciences Inc. (ASL), of which ASL AQFlow is a wholly-owned subsidiary, has been carrying out successful flow velocity measurement programs in difficult ocean environments from the Arctic to the tropics with acoustic scintillation methods since 1977. ASL has been working in hydroelectric applications for over 20 years, since October 2000 as the ASL AQFlow subsidiary.
Early measurements at low-head plants
- A prototype of the Acoustic Scintillation Flow Meter (ASFM) was introduced at Rocky Reach dam, Chelan PUD, in 1992.
- The first model of the ASFM was used for flow studies at Fort Patrick Henry and Wheeler Dams, Tennessee Valley Authority, in 1997 and 1999.
- The first production ASFM system was produced for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Portland District in 1998. Between 1998 and 2001, measurements with this system were conducted successfully at McNary, Bonneville, Lower Granite and The Dalles Dams.
In 2001, the second generation instrument, ASFM Advantage was released. It incorporated significant refinements, and has since been used effectively by:
- Nova Scotia Power - Canada
- Hydro Kennebec - USA
- US Army Corps of Engineers - USA
- Edison Sault Electric Company -USA
- BC Hydro - Canada
- Portland General Electric - USA
- Hydro Quebec - Canada
- Korea Water Resources Corp. - Korea
- Douglas County PUD - USA
- Electricité de France - France
- Gas Natural Union Fenosa - Spain
- Brookfield Renewable Power -Canada
- Compagnie Nationale du Rhone - France
- CEZ - Czech Republic
Initially the instrument was used for relatively short duration, one-time flow measurements. But because all ASFM Advantage instruments are located away from the flow, protected from debris impact, it was recognized that the technology is ideally suited for long-term, continuous flow monitoring.
Thus, in 2005, ASFM Monitor was introduced. This non-intrusive system, installed permanently in the intake, provides continuous, repeatable and reliable real-time monitoring of turbine discharge. Examples of its use may be found at:
- Turbine flow measurement in low-head plants –
Hydro-Québec's and Corps of Engineers' experience
with ASFM: continuous flow monitoring
- Field trial of an ASFM Monitor at Lower Granite December 2004 - January 2005
- The ASFM Monitor: A cost effective tool for real-time measurement of turbine discharge
Although the ASFM was initially developed for and used at low-head plants with no penstocks, its features make it an accurate, repeatable and cost-effective flow measurement method for higher head plants as well. Recent examples:
- Successful measurement at Kootenay Canal plant, British Columbia, 2009 (head> 80m)
- Successful measurement at Slapy, Czech Republic, 2011
(head > 50 m)
- BC Hydro case-study for measurement at G.M. Shrum, Northern British Columbia (head > 180 m)
The process of obtaining code recognition is progressing. Both the ASME PTC-18 Hydraulic turbine and pump turbines and the internationalIEC 60041 Test code for field acceptance tests to determine the performance of hydraulic turbines committees, are currently working on the inclusion of the acoustic scintillation technology in the next issue of their respective codes.